Community run Centre for Environmental Education - practical courses in heritage building (IHBC Recognised CPD Provider) natural, greenwood and rural skills

Orchard Barn, Ringshall, Suffolk, UK, IP14 2LY


Volunteer with us
Come and make a difference.
Learn greenwood working.  Make new friends. Get fitter.

Funding from Babergh/Mid Suffolk District Council enables 4 days of Volunteer Working Parties this spring. Come and get involved in the completion of the shingle roof of the new Educational Facility (reinstated 1580 Long House). Read more here.

Click here to read Past Masters article in March 2024 edition of Suffolk Norfolk Life magazine

Subscribe to our mailing list
and receive all the latest news about courses, volunteer tips and highlights, stories about the project.

Suffolk Community Foundation funding

Heritage Lottery Fund logo

BMSDC logo

Suffolk County Council logo

IHBC CPD provider logo

We held our last AGM
on the 25th November 2023 - the annual report for the year 22-23 is below. A video of our full Impact Statement can be viewed on YouTube.

OBee CIC Annual Report 22-23


As a leading social enterprise we specialise in the delivery of Timber Framing Restoration Skills, Timber Framing, Wattle and Daub and Lime courses for professionals, home-owners, self-builders, and anyone with an interest in getting hands-on with natural materials (or learning how to instruct a builder more knowledgably).

We are a recognised provider of IHBC CPD attendance certificates.

IHBC CPD recognised provider

Vouchers for courses are available. They also make excellent birthday, retirement or retraining presents.

Learn how to apply homemade daub to wattle panel

Get hands-on experience of Wattle and Daub, using Hot Lime and Timber Frame Repairs on our 4-day Timber Frame Restoration Skills course 

Y post in Craft Barn at Orchard Barn

Y-post in Craft Barn

Elm roundwood rafters with wattle and daub infil above in Tool Shed at Orchard Barn

Elm roundwood rafters with wattle and daub infil from above in Tool Shed roof at Orchard Barn

Watch our Earth Mortar video on YouTube.



Waste  Recycling and Reduction 

Building with Trees and Earth

Suffolk Greenest County award winners 2024


In the last 42 days we raised 7,394

Our Reaching for the Ridge CROWD FUNDING CAMPAIGN pledges were matched by Aviva Community Fund

 The extra lift of scaffolding is now installed and we have resumed fitting shingles on the roof of our new Education Facility.The fund raising exceeded our Stretch Target and will enable us to pay for the components of a Rainwater Harvesting system.


Below - OBee Community Building

OBee Community Building

Photo below shows the timber frame and home made insulation in the walls of our new Education Building

UCL Summer School students July 2023, collage by Daisy

Montage by Daisy of July Summer School for University College London Architecture students

CALL OUT for new Volunteers. Do you live in, or near to Babergh/Mid Suffolk? Would you like to join our friendly, fun working parties? We can offer you the opportunity to learn about making Sweet Chestnut shingles using traditional hand tools.  You'll make new friends, get fitter, have fun - all in a beautiful, natural, rural setting?

Volunteer Working Parties are held 9-4 Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

To book yourself onto one of our Taster Days

Email Sarah or phone 07766-054042 for more information.

Volunteers making shingles early 2023

 Above - Volunteers at work and play

Anita in the hard hat area

Anita volunteering in the hard hat area of the site

Our 'new normal'  is the reinstatement of a holistic approach of working with Nature that provides participants with greater awareness, experience and insights into the interconnected of the health of humans with the health of our environment.

Orchard Barn has its own YouTube channel with 400+ subscribers. Have a look at our video about why we set up this community building project in 2007, and what we've collectively achieved since then.

YouTube logo

We also have lively, informative Twitter, Facebook and Instagram feeds.

twitter, instagram and facebook logos